President Joe Biden claimed to Jewish leaders that he visited a synagogue that was the site of an anti-Jewish massacre, but the executive director disputed the claim and said that Biden never visited there, according to a Thursday report from the New York Post.
Here’s Joe Biden talking about visiting Tree of Life synagogue after the massacre there. The executive director of the synagogue says Biden is lying — he never visited. Totally normal. pic.twitter.com/GcFjU2u50i
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 2, 2021
“I remember spending time at the, you know, going to the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them,” Biden said during a virtual address before the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays, according to the Post.
Biden had been speaking about anti-Jewish movements, stating that such groups and sentiment had been given “too much oxygen” over the last ten years.
CNN fact-checked the claim in a video, with reporter Daniel Dale stating that Biden claimed an event happened that was “just false.” CNN did not find any news articles that could corroborate that Biden visited. (RELATED: WaPo Op-Ed Writer Jennifer Rubin Wants The Biden Administration To Fact-Check The Press)
Strange story: President Biden told Jewish leaders today that he visited the Tree of Life synagogue, site of worst anti-Jewish attack in US history
But synagogue says he didn’t visit. WH has not responded to requests for comment on the discrepancy https://t.co/mMPoVuDuD1
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) September 2, 2021
“CNN has found no news articles, or anything else, that would serve as evidence that Biden did visit,” Dale said, adding that it was also “possible” he may have spoken to someone from the synagogue via phone at some point. Dale said that in 2018 Biden claimed that he knew of some friends that had attended services at the synagogue, but reiterated that there was “just no evidence” to support his visit claims.
“This was the president telling Jewish leaders in advance of the high holidays that he remembered ‘spending time’ at the site of an anti-Semitic massacre, going to the site of the anti-Semitic massacre. And there is just no evidence this is actually true,” Dale said.
A grand jury charged Bowers with hate crimes in the shooting in January of 2019, in which he now faces a potential death penalty if convicted, or 535 years in prison.